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This version of GitHub Enterprise Server was discontinued on 2024-07-09. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise Server. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

Sharing workflows, secrets, and runners with your organization

Learn how you can use organization features to collaborate with your team, by sharing starter workflows, secrets, variables, and self-hosted runners.

Note: GitHub-hosted runners are not currently supported on GitHub Enterprise Server. You can see more information about planned future support on the GitHub public roadmap.


If you need to share workflows and other GitHub Actions features with your team, then consider collaborating within a GitHub organization. An organization allows you to centrally store and manage secrets, artifacts, and self-hosted runners. You can also create starter workflows in the .github repository and share them with other users in your organization.

Sharing actions and workflows

You can share both individual actions and entire workflows with your organization, with or without publishing the actions or workflows publicly. You can reuse actions and workflows exactly by referencing them in your workflow file, and you can create starter workflows that provide templates for new workflows.

Sharing actions with your enterprise

To share actions across your enterprise without publishing the actions publicly, you can store the actions in an internal repository, then configure the repository to allow access to GitHub Actions workflows in other repositories owned by the same organization or by any organization in the enterprise. For more information, see "Sharing actions and workflows with your enterprise."

Reusing workflows

You can share workflows with your organization, publicly or privately, by calling one workflow from within another workflow. This allows you to reuse workflows, avoiding duplication and making your workflows easier to maintain. For more information, see "Reusing workflows."

Using starter workflows

Starter workflows allow everyone in your organization who has permission to create workflows to do so more quickly and easily. When you create a new workflow, you can choose a starter workflow and some or all of the work of writing the workflow will be done for you. You can use starter workflows as a starting place to build your custom workflow or use them as-is. This not only saves time, it promotes consistency and best practice across your organization. For more information, see "Creating starter workflows for your organization."

Sharing secrets and variables within an organization

You can centrally manage your secrets and variables within an organization, and then make them available to selected repositories. This also means that you can update a secret or variable in one location, and have the change apply to all repository workflows that use it.

When creating a secret or variable in an organization, you can use a policy to limit which repositories can access it. For example, you can grant access to all repositories, or limit access to only private repositories or a specified list of repositories.

Organization owners can create secrets or variables at the organization level.

  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the organization.

  2. Under your organization name, click Settings. If you cannot see the "Settings" tab, select the dropdown menu, then click Settings.

    Screenshot of the tabs in an organization's profile. The "Settings" tab is outlined in dark orange.

  3. In the "Security" section of the sidebar, select Secrets and variables, then click Actions.

  4. Click the Secrets or Variables tab, and create the secret or variable with your desired values and options.

    For more information, see "Using secrets in GitHub Actions" or "Variables."

Share self-hosted runners within an organization

Organization owners can add their self-hosted runners to groups, and then create policies that control which repositories can access the group.

For more information, see "Managing access to self-hosted runners using groups."

Next steps

To continue learning about GitHub Actions, see "Creating starter workflows for your organization."